Through NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(r) Homeowners in New York State embraced energy efficiency projects in record numbers in 2011, completing twice as many projects as in 2010 through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.
The Hudson Valley/Westchester area had the largest increase of any region in the state. The 550 projects completed in the region during 2011 resulted in average annual savings of more than $800 per participating household, which will impact the homeowners’ energy bills for years to come.
After Hudson Valley/Westchester, the region with the second largest percentage increase was the Southern Tier, where completed projects rose 78 percent from 2010 to 2011.
“The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program helps homeowners reduce their energy use, cut their energy bills and improve the comfort of their homes. We expect to see this program grow in 2012 due to free energy assessments and low-cost financing that is available to homeowners,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA.
In part, the growth in the number of homes completing projects in 2011 reflects the activities of Energize Bedford, an organization that receives funding from NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency in Northern Westchester County.
A recent study of 1,012 New York homeowners conducted on behalf of NYSERDA shows that 56 percent of homeowners polled plan to make home energy efficiency improvements, and 87 percent of those plan to do so within the next three years. A total of 1,012 homeowners participated in the study, which was conducted by KJT Research.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR uses a “whole-house” comprehensive assessment approach to home energy usage. Homeowners work with contractors trained in building science and accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). The contractor looks at the entire house, not just one room or a single problem area, and recommends improvements for saving energy.
The assessment is free for most homeowners, as it funded through Green Jobs-Green New York, a program created by New York State to significantly increase the number of energy efficiency improvements in the state while creating green jobs.
To help homeowners pay for the recommended energy improvements, NYSERDA provides cash-back incentives and low-cost financing. As of January 30, on-bill recovery financing also has been available, enabling homeowners to pay for energy efficiency improvements through their utility bills, using the energy savings from the improvements to offset the cost of the work.
Homeowners with moderate to low-incomes (60 to 80 percent of the median) who participate in Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR can receive grants of up to $5,000 to cover as much as 50 percent of the cost of energy efficiency improvements.